MATCH ARTICLES

20/12/2013 12:27, Report by Tim Oscroft
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Preview: West Ham

Date, time and coverage: Saturday 21 December, 15:00 GMT. The match will not be televised live in the UK, so follow the action via ManUtd.com’s live blog and MUTV Online’s radio commentary. The game will be shown in full on MUTV from midnight matchday. 

Form guide: United start the festive fixture programme of four Barclays Premier League outings in a week-and-a-half having won the last three games across three competitions. The defensive unit has excelled during this good run, keeping clean sheets in the wins over Shakhtar Donetsk, Aston Villa and Stoke City. The Hammers have won just once in their last eight league matches, but the stirring late comeback that knocked Tottenham out of the Capital One Cup on Wednesday will have provided a welcome boost. That said, the east London outfit have failed to score in their last five visits to Old Trafford.

Ins and outs: Wayne Rooney missed Wednesday’s win over Stoke, but David Moyes said the striker “has got a chance” of recovering from his groin injury in time for Saturday. Robin van Persie is out until early January with a thigh injury, but while Michael Carrick is nearing a return to contention the visit of his former club may be too early for the midfielder. West Ham and England striker Andy Carroll is still out with the foot injury that has prevented him from appearing all season, while defender Winston Reid is also absent following ankle surgery. Skipper Kevin Nolan is serving a three-game ban for a red card he received in the recent 4-1 defeat to Liverpool.

Betting: United are hot favourites to start the festive season off with a win, with the club’s official betting partner bwin pricing the Reds at 1.30. Saturday’s visitors are, by contrast, at 9.00 to claim a rare victory at Old Trafford while the draw is 5.25. Ashley Young opened the scoring on Wednesday night and you can get a tempting 29.00 to see him repeat the trick in a 2-0 win for the Reds this

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